Career Development – 1
This is another piece under Challenge 44 – which is a project to improve my writing in 90 days. This is the first phase and the purpose of this phase is meeting a deadline rather than making remarkable content.
What Kind of Career Animal Are You?
What does it mean to find out what kind of career animal we are? Human beings stereotypically associate different animals to certain types of behaviors. So, this is a real fun and yet science-based exercise to find out our personality style. But what’s the point of that you may ask.
Understand Your Own Style
From very early age we start to form certain behavioral styles. By understanding these different styles, you get to leverage your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. This will give you the tools and the opportunity to become highly effective and successful in every facet of your life; personal relationship, business and career success, health and fitness, etc.
Identify Other People’s Styles
Upon completing the quiz you will also receive a free workbook developed by the renowned expert in the field Dr. Tony Alessandra. This will help you not only learn more about strategies for your own career success but also how to identify the styles or others and maximize the effectiveness in working with others and the increased value of the outcome you will achieve.
Do unto others as they would like done unto them
We have all heard about the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would like done unto you.” Well, actually it turns out that others prefer that you do unto them as they would like done unto them. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The problem is that most of the time we have no clue what others want to be unto them. So, we go to our default, relying on what we know: what we would like done unto us. That’s how a husband buys his wife his favorite set of wrenches for her birthday.
The application of this seemingly obvious principle can be fun, not to mention, life changing. But since we are in the business of career success, helping professionals find and live their dream careers, and for executive and leaders to lead high performing organizations we will focus here on some of the applications that are more relevant for job seekers, ensuring that they get the best return on submissions of their resume, especially if it is done by a professional resume writing service, ace for interviews, and succeed in their new job or career. And one day you will be sitting on the other side of the table interviewing candidates for your opening. Let’s start with that scenario and work backward
Ask interview questions tailored to each personality
Imagine you have mastered the art of speed-reading other people’s personality by listening to a job applicant’s answers to your questions. Also imagine you had already done your homework about what kind of person can truly flourish in the position for which you are hiring.
For example, you have determined that your position requires someone who would follow strict guidelines with little room to be creative in how things get done, or the opposite. Or that the position requires significant and ongoing interactions with others where being amenable and eager to build relationships are more critical that analyzing data and developing detail analytical reports.
Can everyone learn or be trained to meet these requirements? Of course. Can everyone feel energized and motivated doing work that is not inline with their styles? Probably not. You have now a bit more insight as to whether you can keep this employee happy and motivated for many years to come and whether your position would best leverage their gifts.
As a job candidate you can do exactly what was described above. With few questions you can get a feel for the personality of your future supervisor. Having studied the personality types you have a good understanding of what would be the best way to motivate and sell your ideas to this person. You can decide how exciting and fun would be working with this kind of person, or not! But if you want the job, you are now much better equipped to build rapport, and appeal to all those values that are key for their personality type. In the remainder of your interview you will do to them as they want to be done unto them! Chances are good that you have significantly increased the chances of getting the offer.
Build and lead high-performing teams consisting of all personality styles
As a manager, team leader or business executive you do not have the luxury of only hiring people who are like you. And thank God for that. If we were only so perfect that all we needed were our own replica’s.
The fact of the matter is that irrespective of the level of expertise, every personality type comes with certain strengths and certain weaknesses or blind spots. Can you imagine if everyone in your team had the same blind spot? Watch out here comes the surprise, usually a nasty one who can destroy your organization. Other than the fact that you don’t want to hire only people like yourself, with the specialize nature of so many jobs someone expertise may be so critical that their personality type may take a back seat.
Of course, everything being equal you do want to hire people whose personality type is a great match for their role. But then again sometimes you are hired and given a deck you have to play with. You may not have the authority, money, and time to hire and rehire your team.
What are you going to do? You want to find out what kind of career animal they are. Not everybody is motivated by money. Not everyone cares about a supportive boss. Not everyone works for the “mission”. You need to find out what makes each person tick, what language they hear and listen to, what level of supervision or autonomy they need, how much do you need to reach out and talk to them, etc. Once you can match your treatment of them to what they need you have set the foundation to engage and win with them as best as you can.
By now the message is clear. Coaching, whether it is of employees, clients or your children must resonate with the personality style of the person you are working with. The language you will use will help you to open them up to sharing with you their dreams and desires beyond their own initial awareness, so you can figure how to align their personal needs and motivators to where they want to go or in the case of being their manager where you would like to lead them to. Knowing what kind of career animal they are will give you so many tools to work with that unfortunately you will have no excuse for failure.
In most companies you would hope that every position has a clear job description, hopefully but not always it is also consistent with the job description that was in the position announcement. Each such position description should also come with a set of metrics or key success indicators for each position. That much is universal and has to be applied to everyone in that position irrespective of their personality profile. But what would you do the get buying and what would you do when someone fails to comply with those requirements and or does not quite meet their success indicators? Is it time to fire them? May be. But considering the high cost of hiring a replacement, the first step is to determine if you are applying all the motivators that this person are sensitive to. It may be time to put on the hat of a the coach and figure out where the blockage is what you may need to do to motivate them to correct course.
Hire motivated employees. The truth of the matter is that this is the easiest short cut to success. It is not easy to coach and motivate people. So contrary to everything you heard to this point rather than having to understand every individual’s needs and motivators, it is cheaper and easier to hire people who are self-motivated. But now you have a new problem!
Is your organization and team up to standard of our motivated employee? It better be. Otherwise, it will a matter of time before they leave or their spirit start to wane to the level your organization’s standard. Now if you are lucky enough to have hired great motivated employees you definitely want to figure what kind of career animal they are so that you can keep up with their level of enthusiasm and need to progress.
And I have another good news for you. Birds of the same feather, most of the time flock together. That means there is a good chance that your highly motivated person has other people in his or her network who share their level of energy and enthusiasm. So your highly motivated employees could also end up to be your best recruiters to hire other great employees.
Work successfully with managers of any personality style
How does what we have covered so far apply to your career success as an employee? Wouldn’t it be nice for you to show up with an input for your boss right about the time they need it? Wouldn’t be nice every time you pass their office to hear them cheering your great job? Wouldn’t be nice if as the time goes on they become more and more reliant on what you can contribute to the success of the organization, and by extension their career success? Wouldn’t be nice being pulled into their office with the news of an impending raise before you had even asked for it?
It all starts by figuring out what kind of career animal they are. What is their level of need for information, feedback, what words resonate with them and which ones piss them off, how you can change their mood like turning on a light switch, how to make them feel really good about you in their got, even when they can not quite articulate why they so much enjoy having you on their side.
Ask for and receive a raise
It’s not about you. Getting a raise is not about you. It’s about your boss feeing strongly about why it is time to pull that trigger and make it happen as soon as possible. It’s about the ROI for the boss. It’s about their return, but on what kind of investment? That all depends on what kind of career animal they are. When you figure that out you will be able to come up with the language and the arguments that make the request for raise so obvious and logical and the right thing for them to do. Once that happens they will manage to come up with all sort of logical rational to justify it for the organization. Where as in reality their reasons are deeply tied into the emotional triggers of the career animals they are.
Maintain healthy and rewarding personal relationships
Live a happy, healthy life by understanding one’s own blind spots and motivators